Friday, February 28, 2014

Liver of Sulfur...Wow!

Wow. I just tried liver of sulfur for the first time. Wow does it completely change the look of a piece. Here are some before and after shots:



Me? I'm much happier with the after because I feel it draws more attention to the stone.

But what do you think? Are you a fan of antiquing your jewelry or more of a 'shiny' metal person?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

My fight with polymer was a great thing!

You know how last time I said I had a fight with my polymer and we weren't talking? Turns out that was AWESOME. I actually took time to go through my beads and put together finished projects! It was a super productive week.

So a bit of show and tell....

A finished polymer necklace and earrings. Not really my favorite but the colors are lovely and the swirl on the main bead turned out really nice.

This might look like a previous project but it was made out of extra beads from that batch.

A quick set of earrings I'm not sure why I made, but they are now attached to ear cards.

A kumihimo bracelet with a fish button. Made with Sally Bead Jewelry "Pop on Top" and "Button closure" patterns. A tad bit too big...but the colors in the bracelet match the button wonderfully.

A necklace and earring set made from a set of polymer beads that I showed in an earlier blog post. One of my first attempts at stringing in a long time and I like how it turned out. The earrings aren't bad either. 

Maybe I should fight with my art materials more often....


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Polymer Clay and I aren't speaking

Yes. You read the title right. I am not speaking to my polymer clay. I have gone so far as to 'Unfollow' all of the polymer clay pages on Facebook. Soon, I plan to stop receiving e-mail from polymer clay stores. Yes, this all seems very dramatic.

However, I have come to realize that I'll spend a whole day making polymer clay beads and most of the time  I don't even like what I make. I could BUY beads (probably cheaper) that I liked better and spend my 'art days' actually MAKING things.

Don't be sad. Remember I did say that I was a bit of a fiddler with my hobbies didn't I? My only question now --- do I try to sell all of my polymer clay stuff --- the pasta machine, the extruder, and my remaining clay, and the two books I bought. The louder part of me says YES, YES, YES! Because honestly, I could use the money to buy other craft stuff. The quieter part of me says, well, maybe this is temporary.

What would I do you say? Well, don't forget I'm still wire wrapping/wire weaving and that IS going well and I AM enjoying it.

Plus, I have a few things I'd really like to try.....

1. Bead weaving --- this is excellent because I already have beads and silamide/nymo. From what I've read these should be okay to practice with. I guess I'd like to buy some Fireline at some point if I'm enjoying this.... but really this is a relatively inexpensive pursuit since I have all the supplies I need from my days doing bead embroidery. Plus, I've found some kiss-ass tutorials on the web.  So --- expect some commentary on this in the future. Only con with this --- some of the best designs use 15/0 and to be honest, I have trouble with my 11/0. Sucks to get older doesn't it?  (Disclaimer...I'm really middle age....but I would compare 15/0 beads to lace knitting .......just not my thing! (: )  One big plus, I've found this tutorial on This seems to combine wireworking with beaded beads and hey no  15/0 beads. However, I don't currently have spacers that will work for this design so something to try in the future maybe??

2. Bezel Effect. This is a combo of this nifty paint and resin.  I will confess this has been on my wish list for a while. Because I tend to be rather structured in my approach to things, I just love, love, love things that have own watercolor paint, and the randomness of gemstones, and well you get the idea. This paint, it does random, very cool things. Want to know what I mean?

For an even better idea of what I am talking about, check out this tutorial. Okay, now that you'e seen it, you can see how cool it really is. Biggest problem with this -- BEZELS are expensive, and the deep ones that work best for this are even more so. So what stops me from pursuing this at the moment is the money required to buy the supplies. Also, along this same line of thought....I'd also just like to try bezels and resin in general. SO, if you know of a place that sells nice bezels at a steal of a price, do let me know. (:

Oh on a completely different line of thought.....I have some MOST excellent news. I have created THREE bead soups as options for my swap partner. NOW I am NOT going to give it away because my swap partner might read this blog...but I'm especially happy with one of them and I hope that it will work. It's amazing, but I actually found some really excellent beads in my stash. For one of the bead soups I will need to buy another strand or two but for the most part, I think they are really beautiful.
Of course, the plan I spoke about earlier...the polymer clay or the wrapped pendants...don't actually appear in these bead soups!  But I was afraid the wrapped pendant would impose too much of my own style, and as you can see above, I'm not talking to my polymer. (:

On that note, I'm see you next time! (:

Monday, February 17, 2014

8th Bead Soup Blog Party!!!!!

I'm in! I'm in! I have officially joined the 8th Soup Blog Party!  I am super duper excited about this! I can't wait to 'meet' my partner via e-mail. I hope he or she likes what I send them! (:

Okay ...this is going to win the shortest blog post award but I was so excited I couldn't wait to post!


Yes, I have pictures for you today!!!!

Let's start with polymer clay: 

Remember these beads that didn't look like much? 

They became this! The light is a bit off (the color of the beads in the first picture is more accurate). But I really think this supports the idea that you don't know the beads full potential until you actually use them. 

So, I'm trying to keep this in mind when I look at this newest batch of beads.

Okay the box is a bit silly, but I like to keep them all together. They are stamped with the symbols for happiness and good fortune. 

These were supposed to be faux jade. To my eye, they are a bit on the blue side...but I do like the way they turned out. The purple/pink set above were a very solid color ---this set is definitely more 'swirly'! (: I think they are a bit light...but I plan to combine them with some brown/gold colored seed beads -- we'll see how that goes. 

NOW, onto wire work. First, I've made about 5 or 6 rings now. Some of them better than others. But my real goal with wire wrapping/wire weaving was to create some pendants.  So here are my first two: 

The purple is the first one. Dakota Stones...Purple Crazy Lace Agate. The bail is too big and I think the bottom is a bit funky ( looks okay here) 

The blue is the second. Crazy Lace Agate from Dakota Stones. The top of the bail is a bit funky but otherwise, I think it is a vast improvement over the purple. 

These are based on an etsy tutorial you can find here. This tutorial by Perfectly Twisted is called the Fossil Coral Pendant Tutorial. As you can see, it creates a simple yet elegant pendant out of  a focal bead. I give it 5 stars --- easy to follow, produces a nice looking product, and even a beginner like me can make something that at least resembles the original. (: 

BTW...I plan to patina both of these as I'm not a fan of shiny copper at least for these stones. I think an antiqued metal will help the stones shine through. 

Oh and while I'm posting photos, I hope when I grow up I can make wire work like this....

This is so NOT my work....this is done by the one and only Rachel Murgatroyd founder of the Wire Guild. In case you didn't read about her in my previous posts, check out her latest adventure here:

Monday, February 10, 2014

Now onto shops that are worth checking out!

Okay, I have been meaning to post this for a bit! See the bottom right hand corner of my blog? Yes, that's right, right there! See that list of great stuff? Well, I really want to tell you a bit about each one and why you might want to check them out!!!

So, I'm going to go out of order, because I am super excited about this first one!!

The Wire Guild!
1st the disclaimer: This IS a paid-membership site. No, I RARELY....make that never, join those. But this one was totally worth it. First, it's $6 (US) a month and you get two VIDEO tutorials included in that cost each month. Plus, the videos are awesome....the teacher actually fusses around with the wire a bit. I thought maybe good wire workers just looked at the wire and it behaved. LOL...the video shows even an expert wire worker needs to talk nice to the wire sometimes. And you know what? It makes me feel a whole bunch better. See, I live in a very small town, and I've never actually taken an in-person class in any of my 'mediums'. I pretty much learn via books, and purchased pdf tutorials and youtube videos.  This site, well, the videos are great and there is a forum which I have found very helpful.
I wish I could post a picture of the amazing work....but I think the images are protected. SO even if you will never, never, never join one of these sites, at least go and look at the beautiful wirework on the introductory pages. (:

And in case you are a new wire worker looking to buy wire, I have a few suggestions. Of course, you can always buy wire at It's kind of a staple location for professional folks. But I'm not at the point where I want to buy that much wire!

So what if you are like me, and need a smaller amount at a reasonable price? Or what if you just like buying from a small family owned business? Well try this place:

Unkamen Supplies : This place is da-bomb! No honestly...I love this store. They have an awesome selection of base metals -- and silver and 'silver-alternatives' including a fine silver over copper wire that I kinda love. (:   Plus, have a question? Write them, and they get back to you ASAP! There shipping is also very, very reasonable which I can't say for a lot of places. Oh, and if you make chain maile? Well these folks have you covered. They also have a nice selection of other fun items including kits.  They have an etsy store as well, but I like their new website --it's colorful. One word of advice, if you are looking for something specific use the tabs or the search menu. The pictures are fun for browsing but can be a bit tricky if you are looking for a specific item.

Bellomodo:  This is a great all around supply place. They have all the basics and some fun stuff too. Their prices are also very reasonable especially when they have stuff on sale. PLUS, free shipping for orders over $14.99. I've shopped around and this deal is hard to beat...especially if you don't have lots to spend. (Most places don't give free shipping until $35 or more.)

Well, its just about time for me to goto sleep, BUT I want to include one more link today because this is another small shop with a wonderful owner.

Diva Designs
This lady makes AMAZING polymer clay tutorials.  I have the blended marbling one and the newest one about faux turquoise looks fabulous. In fact, if my swap partner for the bead swap (see previous post) adores turquoise, I'll be buying this tutorial ASAP.  (I plan to buy it down the road anyway, but that would just give me a great excuse!!! (: ) time, I'm going to link some 'fantasy' shops! (:

Well, I'm embarrassed that it has been almost two weeks since I've posted. I actually think about this blog every night, but then I get too tired to come and actually type! So, I'm going to remedy this by getting here earlier!

However, first things first. I have officially joined  the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party!!! I can't tell you how excited I am about this.  It is a once a year event where a huge numbers of beaders who don't know each other, get together, swap beads and then make stuff!!! (:

Okay --- you can find a much better description here: Pretty Things Blog
Actually, I'm a tiny bit apprehensive about two things ----
1. Will I send nice enough things?  Well, I think so!  Here is my 'secret' plan:
     --- Make either a wire wrapped pendant (did I mention I haven't done this before?)  or
     --- Make a really nice polymer clay focal --- okay, I'm a  bit more confident with this plan. I actually have cabochon molds on the way  --- and alcohol inks --- I think I might make a faux amber or jade --- depending on what my swap partner likes --- or I might even try to make a faux turquoise
       --- However, faux polymer might not match my swap partners tastes (what if they say that don't like faux anything, right? (:)
       --- OF course, I plan to send more than just a focal --- I already have some lovely beads sitting in my Etsy cart --- and I'll select the best ones for my swap partner based on the focal and their color preferences

2. I'm a tiny bit apprehensive about what I might get ...and how I might make it into something presentable. But this is part of the reason I'm doing this swap! To stretch my artistic endeavors just a bit outside my 'safety' zone.

So, fingers crossed that my swap partner likes what I send, and that I am able to make something awesome with what I get!